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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:10 pm 
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Location: Melbourne AU
Moderator comment:
This post was originally in reply to a post by Adam that was a blatant ad. Adam has since deleted his post, but the reply still has relevance and practical value for anyone getting started in forum marketing.


Adam,

This is the wrong way to promote your services on forums like this one, where ads are not permitted. You need a more subtle strategy, like this one:

How to SAFELY and Effectively Promote Your Product or Service Using Forums

Note: this is NOT a strategy to be used for promoting affiliate links!

Phase One: CREATE AWARENESS OF THE NEED FOR YOUR SERVICE

Identify the need for your article-writing service. What are people really looking for from a service like yours?

Here's a clue: most small and home-based business owners are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of promotional activities they need to do to promote their products of services. Your target audience will fall into one of these categories:

A. They've heard of article marketing, but they don't really know much about it... why they need to do it, what they need to do, or how to do actually do it. They need educating on the benefits of article marketing first, then on the advantages of outsourcing to an expert writer (not just an "el-cheapo" jobber from a Third World country), and the powerful, affordable benefits of using YOU.

B. They know about article marketing, why, what and how, etc, but they simply don't have the time needed to do it. They also know about outsourcing, but they're concerned about quality, not just low cost. Farming the job out to people in developing countries, where English is a second language, can be a recipe for disaster. (Just look around forums like this one for examples of this -- it's really easy to spot outsourced articles like these: the quality of the writing, especially in English, is patchy at best and poor or unintelligible at worst.)

C. They know they need article marketing in their promotional tool kit, they know how to do it, they may even have the talent and skills required... but they simply don't have the TIME to do it properly! Other business demands have higher priority.

The only difference between the first two categories is awareness. You have to transform prospects in group A into group B by educating them. But BOTH of these groups now need to be moved up to your REAL, IMMEDIATE target market: group C.

All three groups have the same ultimate need: to enjoy the benefits of powerful, effective article marketing at an affordable cost -- and that will ultimately be determined by their ROI (Return on Investment), where the MEASURABLE results they get from your writing are worth many times what you cost them.

Remember: ROI is both a relative term and an absolute measurement. They need to learn to tell the difference.

Which of these investments offers the best ROI?

i. Cost of series of 10 articles: $50. Net profit (after expenses are deducted) from sales created by articles: $500. ROI = 1:10 or 1,000%.

ii. Cost of series of 10 articles: $25. Net profit (after expenses are deducted) from sales created by articles: $250. ROI = 1:10 or 1,000%.

iii. Cost of series of 10 articles: $250. Net profit (after expenses are deducted) from sales created by articles: $2,000. ROI = 1:8 or 800%.

Examples i and ii have the same RATE of ROI (1:10 or 1,000%), but the AMOUNT of profit delivered by each is vastly different: example i delivers $450 in profit, while example ii delivers $225 in profit. Clearly, example i is more profitable in terms of actual AMOUNT of profit earned, even at the same RATE (percentage) of ROI.

Example iii delivers a LOWER RATE of ROI (1:8 or 800%), but the AMOUNT of profit it delivers is $1,750, making it a far better investment than either examples i or ii, with 388% higher profitability.

But there's another factor to be considered: ROI over TIME. A series of articles may have an initial impact that's spectacular... but it may quickly subside, while another series of articles may not have such a spectacular short-term impact, but over months or even years may deliver healthy profits that are much higher than the first series.

Which is better over time for THEIR needs... a short-lived flare? Or a long-lasting flashlight?

Both are valid, depending on circumstances. A new client may need a high short-term result in order to finance other projects with results that will be higher over time. They just can't afford to wait at first.

They need to learn to balance the risk between cost, return and time. A high RATE of ROI is not necessarily better than a high AMOUNT of ROI but, as so often happens, "time will tell".

Phase Two: ESTABLISH YOURSELF AS THE SAFEST, EASIEST, BEST AND SMARTEST SOLUTION

Note that I didn't mention CHEAPEST? That's just part of being SAFEST when fear of loss is strong. Until they're convinced that the risk of losing their money -- or paying too much for the benefits they get -- is low or non-existent, that fear of loss will dominate their decision-making. That's why SAFEST is first on the list. It's your job to reduce the risk in order to reduce the fear it's causing them.

That does NOT mean lowering prices. When you're the SELLER, the only thing dumber than allowing price to be the deciding factor is making it the deciding factor! Use your creativity, experience, talent and skills to "tilt the seesaw", so that what they first see as risky and safe are quickly reversed: what they first thought was safe is suddenly risky, and what they first thought was risky suddenly becomes safe. Learn more at http://TiltTheSeesaw.com.)

1. Write a series of articles about using article writing as a promotional tool, the problems caused by inexperience, by automated article-writing software, article spinning tools, etc. Each article should be a powerful demonstration of your writing ability and your power to persuade, not just a hard-core sales pitch.

Create awareness of the various problems and of your own service as a safer, easier, better, smarter solution. Build credibility for yourself as an authority on article writing on any subject. Build awareness of investment value, not just cost. Build solid, high perceived value for yourself and what you do.

Include links to examples of your work relevant to each article topic.

2. Set up an autoresponder account for these articles.

3. Create a squeeze page on your site promoting a FREE subscription to your article-writing e-course... your series of articles.

4. Write some introductory "teaser" articles that demonstrate your writing skills and deliver some tangible value to readers, but which are obviously only part of the bigger picture of article writing.

5. Search for forums that target online and offline marketers. (Search on http://big-boards.com -- a directory of forums and bulletin boards online.) Visit the most promising forums to check out their content, culture and potential for new clients.

6. Register as a member of several forums (keep it manageable) -- and DO NOT be tempted to use automated posting software. That's one of the fastest ways to get yourself booted and banned before you even get established. You can add more forums each week. Be sure to bookmark them and store the bookmarks in their own folder for easy access.

7. Create a profile for each forum, and use your own name as your username. DO NOT use a sales-type username... they rarely go down well with forum members. Be yourself. Use your own name. Build your own name as the expert in article writing. Forums tend to be closely-knit communities. Respect that, and the distinct culture of each online community.

8. Create a signature file offering your FREE article writing course, and a link to your squeeze page. Make it simple, direct and hype-free. Don't over-do colors, fonts, styles, etc... they will actually undermine your credibility!

9. Post your "teaser" articles as NEW TOPICS. Post one article a week, always as a new topic. (Never, ever, EVER try to hijack a topic by changing direction in an existing topic. It will get your posts deleted and you banned.)

10. Monitor the replies to your articles. Answer questions, offer fresh insights and ideas, help people with questions or concerns. Become a recognized expert, and a concerned, valued community member. That takes time. There's no way to automate this process. You have to be personally INVOLVED. (Hence the advice to not commit yourself to too many forums at a time.)

11. Track and test your signature file results and link results. Use a combination like Cloak and Tracker and SplitTestPRO, which are ideal for use in forums. (Get this state-of-the-art combo for 45% discount at http://ForumSpecials.com/software/ .)

12. Based on your testing results, fine-tune your signature file to the best performer over several weeks or months.

WARNING!

Don't be impatient. Forums take time to get to know and to establish yourself as a community member. But the awareness and credibility you can build are outstanding, as long as you don't mess up by pushing too hard or too fast. Don't be a hard-core, hypey seller, always promoting.

Respect, patience and courtesy are the magic combination for forum acceptance and success. Be friendly, but not pushy. Build credibility and respect for yourself by the quality and value of your contributions. A restrained, professional attitude (and signature file!) will get you better, faster results, always.

Use your autoresponder articles (your e-course) to prove your professional expertise. Yes, you can make offers, but keep them low-key. And don't abuse your subscribers by burying them with daily emails pitching affiliate offers, etc. Nothing is more guaranteed to lose you subscribers.

Act professionally, add value, respect the forum rules and culture and you'll win new clients regularly... and keep on winning them.

Hope this helps.

John
Moderator

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:35 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:57 am
Posts: 289
Adam,

forum is for what you are thinking, not what you have to sell. Forums members looking for
opinions, knowledge sharing,critics, questions and so on, not what you have to sell.

and I like the forum, because there are no banner ads like in many others.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:27 am
Posts: 10
profitclinic: I don't think that from articles alone you can get that much profit.

Visitors coming from forums/blogs/articles/social media aren't necesarly interested in buying your product/service, they'e get landed there, the probability that they would efectivly buy something is very tiny.

On the other hand its about the impact on the SERPS.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:54 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:29 am
Posts: 4771
Location: Melbourne AU
Marcel,

I know a few article directory owners who would disagree with you.

The consensus seems to be that once you hit the 100+ articles mark, traffic (and well-targeted traffic at that) begins to flow in fairly serious numbers.

That figure of 100+ may have increased with the overall increase in articles in recent years, but my sources are major players and they do very well, as do their better authors.

I haven't noticed the signal-to-noise ratio getting any better with all that increased volume. Spun articles — the Internet equivalent of toxic waste — seems to just lower the value even more.

John

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The Marketing Doctor at The Profit Clinic
NEW to FORUM Marketing? Get better, faster results without breaking the rules.
FREE help at https://www.facebook.com/groups/ForumMarketingForBeginners/


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:33 pm
Posts: 6
Location: USA
John,

What a great message. I feel that a quality post will get clicks on your signature, but using copywiting skills and strategies would have to get more calls to action. Thanks for the post, I'll put it to use and track the results.

Much Success,
George Pierce

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:04 am 
Yeah i also prefer to quality post will get clicks on your signature, Very interesting post indeed thanks for all the useful info...


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:48 am 
Interesting post, i like to read this.


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 Post subject: M1t Pills
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:23 am 
Hey, look at me!

I'm a brain-dead moron with a copy of Xrumer forum-spamming script. I just spammed this topic — and got no results.

[Link removed. Moron banned.]

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